What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D (also referred to as Cholecalciferol) is a fat-soluble vitamin. Recent research has identified that many tissues throughout the body contain receptors for vitamin D, highlighting the whole-body effect it most likely has.
Why do I need vitamin D?
The government has taken the unprecedented move of recommending supplementation of vitamin D for everybody”!
Unfortunately, in recent years we have seen an increase in the number of cases of rickets amongst children in the UK and similarly of osteomalacia (or soft bones) in adults. It is this change that prompted the government to investigate the need for supplementation and to make these latest recommendations. Your body must have vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Too little vitamin D results in soft bones in children (rickets) and fragile, misshapen bones in adults (osteomalacia). You also need vitamin D for other important body functions.
Does Vitamin D have any other benefits besides those for bone health?
Vitamin D has also been linked to the normal function of muscles in athletes, impacting protein synthesis and in turn muscle strength.
Vitamin D also boosts the production of immune cells, so has an important role in fighting and preventing illness.
How much do I need and how do I get it?
UK goevernment recommendations have been applied to babies 0-3 and children aged 4-11 as well as older children and adults – 10μg is the recommended dose for all of these age groups.
The primary source of vitamin D is bright sunshine on the skin (face, arms and neck), but in the UK it is not possible to get the required amount of sunshine in the autumn and winter months for the skin to be able to make adequate vitamin D to maintain sufficient levels in the body.
Three quarters of all adults believe that they get enough vitamin D through their food and there is no need to do anything else.
Whilst some vitamin D is available through diet, the amounts are limited, with one egg containing around 40IU and the recommended dose of 10μg being equivalent to 400IU – we would need to eat 10-12 eggs per day to achieve the vitamin D intake the government is now recommending! Other food sources include oily fish, such as salmon, liver and fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals.
Do you need vitamin K when supplementing with vitamin D?
While there has been some suggestions that vitamin D supplementation can be harmful without vitamin K, there is no evidence to support this.
One of the purported benefits of adding vitamin K is the reduced risk of blood vessel calcification. However, while blood vessel calcification might be associated with toxic levels of vitamin D, these levels are rare. Even when toxic concentrations of vitamin D have been found, blood vessel calcification was only found in less than 10% of those individuals. While vitamin K does appear to be beneficial to our health, it is not necessarily needed with vitamin D supplementation.
The PRP Vitamin D range now includes tablets, sprays and chewables. So there is no excuse for not getting your required Vitamin D